Good Morning America's John Berman on Friday made no effort to hide his derision of Rick Perry, noting that former FEMA Director Joe Allbaugh is running his campaign. Berman openly mocked, "...[Allbaugh] ran FEMA. So, he knows how to recover from disasters, Robin."
Earlier in the segment, the reporter made another comparison, joking, "You know, there's no question that Rick Perry is in full-scale political rehab. It's like a 12-step plan." Supposedly objective journalists on Thursday's evening newscasts and Friday's morning shows pounced on Perry's debate flub from Wednesday. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Thursday's Nightly News, Brian Williams wondered, "Rick Perry's oops moment at last night's debate, was it a fatal moment for his campaign?"
On Friday's Today, Chuck Todd spun the campaign to be the anti-Romney as "a game of survival, as Rick Perry and Herman Cain are spending more time apologizing and offering mea culpas, than focusing on making the case against Romney."
Todd continued, "Some Republicans say Perry's campaign is all but over."
Jan Crawford on Friday's Early Show reminded viewers that Perry "stumbled big time"during the debate and had a "huge gaffe."
On Thursday's Evening News, John Dickerson previewed Saturday's debate and concluded, "It's one thing to have a brain freeze, it's another thing to be unfit for that key job of being commander in chief. Perry has been studying hard for this debate."
A transcript of the November 11 GMA segment, which aired at 7:10am EST, follows:
ROBIN ROBERTS: Now, to politics. Your voice, your vote. Governor Rick Perry now doing damage control, taking to the late-night shows to try and turn his, well, his remarkable gaffe at Wednesday's debate into laughs. Is it enough for a comeback? John Berman has all the answers as always.
JOHN BERMAN: Good morning, Robin. You know, there's no question that Rick Perry is in full-scale political rehab. It's like a 12-step plan. Joke about it. Joke about it. Joke about it. Joke about it. Send out your wife. Rinse, repeat. What's the best way to recover after you can't remember three departments in a presidential debate?
RICK PERRY: I would do away with the Education, the, uh- Commerce. And let's see. I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops.
BERMAN: Do the top ten on David Letterman.
PERRY: You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one hansome dude. I wanted to help take the heat off of my buddy, Herman Cain.
DAVID LETTERMAN: Okay. And the number one Rick Perry excuse.
PERRY: I just learned that Justin Bieber is my father.
LETTERMAN: Oh, my God.
BERMAN: Perry's appearance on the Late Show was part of an all-out media assault, a Brady Bunch barrage of appearances. Five morning shows, two Fox shows and late night comedy.
PERRY: If we're electing a debater in chief, don't elect me.
BERMAN: And if comedy and cable can't work, the next step in debate flub rehab, the wife. Anita Perry on the trail.
ANITA PERRY: You know, everybody forgets something every now and then. But he remembered our anniversary last week.
BERMAN: Before Rick Perry had the flub heard around the world, the candidate doing the most damage control was Herman Cain, fending off sexual harassment allegations. But Fox News cameras caught Cain joking with supporters about Anita Hill, who famously accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in the 1990s
UNIDENTIFIED: Did you hear the latest news today? Anita Hill is going to come here.
HERMAN CAIN: Is she gonna endorse me?
BERMAN: Of course, the most effective tool for Herman Cain right now might be that he's not Rick Perry. Now, Rick Perry recently hired Joe Allbaugh to help run his campaign. Allbaugh was George W. Bush's campaign manager. But more importantly for Perry, he ran FEMA. So, he knows how to recover from disasters, Robin.
ROBIN ROBERTS: Rinse, repeat. All right, John. Have a great weekend.
BERMAN: You too.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: I think John enjoyed this story.